Friday, January 04, 2008

FILM | Why Watch Golden Compass?

The Golden Compass movie has been screening for a while now, but I have not watched it. Mainly, all the reviews I have read are screaming it's a watered down adaptation that sucked the essence out of the story. I like His Dark Materials, so it's a question of how I would react to a traitorous adaptation.

Really -- why spend the money to buy the rights to a good story, and take out the parts that made the story great in the first place. The Vatican was not happy anyway -- watered down or not. So, now you have a lesser film, and you alienated both the religious authorities AND the Pullman fans.

However, if it proves to be a slow weekend (not likely, since I'm working towards the best parts of Cyteen) -- I might give in. Or I might catch The Warlords instead.

Why watch it? Because I want to watch Nicole Kidman's malevolent serenity. Because I read what Manohla Dargis wrote in The New York Times:

Ms. Kidman has rarely looked more beautifully and exotically alien. When she first appears, she pours across the screen like liquid gold, her body provocatively shifting inside a shimmering, form-fitting gown, her gilt-blond hair and alabaster skin all but glowing. She’s the film’s most spectacular special effect (her wonderfully vicious little daemon-monkey runs a close second), and for once, the smooth planes of her face, untroubled by visible lines, serve the character.

But this has to be one of the funniest lines in a film review and ironically, makes me want to watch it for the murderous polar bears:

Among other things, I would have liked to spend some quality time with Lyra’s friend and protector the warrior bear Iorek Byrnison (voiced by Mr. McKellen), a gorgeous creature whose ferocity is, alas, tempered by his resemblance to some familiar cuddly polar bears. It is, I discovered, hard to keep your mind off the concession stand when you are waiting for Iorek to offer Lyra a Coke.

The Coca-Cola jingle is running through my head right now.


jenclair said...

I've not read the series so I could enjoy it without having to deal with the pesky comparison aspect. Have heard mixed reviews from Bloggers, too; but no one denies that it is a beautiful film.

Rebecca H. said...

I saw it and feel ambivalent about it -- it's something to do if you're bored or need something to do -- okay, but not great. Kidman was good, though, I'll agree with that.

Carl V. Anderson said...

That is a great line! Ha!

I do think it is funny that Hollywood blew it with this one. It is the books people are protesting, not the film when it comes right down to it, so I agree: If you are going to spend the money then make a decent adaptation.

Not that I ultimately care, this wasn't a film I planned on seeing at the theatre and probably won't on DVD based on the reviews. I couldn't stand Eragon, the movie and this looks to be one equally as bad.

Iliana said...

I've not read the books so I can't compare but I was so bored by the movie. I liked Kidman in it though. As to the polar bears I just kept thinking of the cute German polar bear, Knut! :)

darkorpheus said...

Jenclair I'm still ambivalent. Should I go? *sigh* Some people didn't like the special effects though. You were okay with it?

Dorothy I wonder if her performance alone can redeem the film though. Kidman has that knack for playing intense woman slightly unhinged. She was great in "The Others", I thought.

Carl I know. Makes me what to reach for a cuddly polar bear and drink a can of Coke! :)

I'm so glad I skipped Eragon. It was so wrong.

Iliana Aww. Knut. I love the pictures of him as a baby. But it was funny how he's turning green these days. ;p